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Sunday, September 05, 2010

DVD Review: Condemned


USA 2010
Director: Oren Shai
Writers: Oren Shai
Starring: Margaret Anne Florence, Ashlie Atkinson, Aprella.
DVD Released: 2010
Cert: NR
Running Time: 14 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
Region: 0 NTSC

The Film:

Female convict #1031 in a 50's prison sweats in her cell as she awaits inevitable
and fatal retribution for snitching. Having been awake for three days for fear she
will be killed in her slumber, she cuts herself to stay alert and wearily tries not
to succumb to sleep. Unfortunately a new inmate is brought to share her cell, Laura,
a charming blonde who will either be #1031's salvation or her executioner..........

A beautifully shot little homage to 70's women in prison exploitation flicks
although those b-movie classics of yesteryear were never this well put together. A
sweaty, claustrophobic, noir-like feel is evoked throughout with an excellent
performance from Margaret Anne Florence as the weary inmate. The dialogue has a
tongue in cheek melodrama to it, especially when barked by the ruby lipped bulldog
of a prison guard played with obvious relish by Ashlie Atkinson and via the
voiceover set to the groovy spaghetti western throwback soundtrack. I don't get the
opportunity to watch many short films nor do I seek them out but if the aim of such
a short feature is to leave the audience wanting more then this one was highly
successful as I would love to see a full length feature based on this effort. Taken
on it's own however it is an all too short, paranoia filled meditation on the
inevitability of death that is very much worth 14 minutes of your time.

The Disc:

Shot on Super 16 this is an excellent anamorphic transfer, vivid colours,
solid blacks, excellent transfer. The audio is clean and clear with the haunting
score balanced nicely with the dialogue and ambient soundtrack.

Review by Giuseppe Rijitano

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